As Nature Intended

 

When you first learn that you are an Omega, you learn all sorts of things you never imagined you would need to know when you were growing up. The essentials: Heat suppressants, scent masking, how to handle an Alpha that is scenting you, and of course, the laws that are in place to protect you, in a society that is accepting and progressive, yet still has elements of its attitudes stuck firmly in the past. You also learn that through no fault of your own, or conscious effort, it is possible for an Omega to adjust their body chemistry, to make themselves ready to do what some feel is their sole purpose in life: to breed.

Presenting as an Omega at the age of fourteen, Elliot has grown up cautious, distrustful of the world around him, yet determined to live a fulfilling life in spite of that. He is successful at work, has recently moved into a new apartment, and everything in his world appears to be falling into place. Which is, of course, exactly when his body decides to rebel, forcing ideas and urges into Elliot that he has spent his life trying to deny.

Enter reluctant Alpha, Oskar; as adamant as Elliot that he will not have his life disrupted by what he is, and just as horrified by his instincts as Elliot is finding himself about his own. Should they fight the inevitability that is their bond, that need they have for one another that will not get them a moment’s respite, or give in to just how easy, and effortless it feels between them?

Read here

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Tainted By Our Choices

 

Tainted By Our Choices Edit 2

Tainted by our choices is a contemporary romance that has flashbacks, sex, environmental awareness, and a slight fixation on dessert. Potentially all at the same time.

Meet Jack. A successful environmental officer working within an industry that is so very far from his childhood dream of saving the planet, that he no longer recognizes himself. How he’s found himself in Houston, Texas, where he has no one, and nothing but his work for company, he tells himself repeatedly he doesn’t know. But when the place that became home had the heart sucked right out of it, and all around him were the remnants of a life he wouldn’t get to have, Jack ran, at the first opportunity given to him.

On a bright, sunny morning, Jack sees a face so familiar to him that he knows it better than his own, one that takes him back first to a beach in his childhood home of Tampa Bay, and second to a college in Boston where Jack learned – and lost – his heart.

Tainted by our choices is the story of first crushes, loves, and heartbreaks, and the fallout that left Jack clinging to his past. Join him on his rediscovery of himself, as a chance meeting reminds him of the life he always wanted to lead. Is he brave enough to live it?

As Nature Intended

 

When you first learn that you are an Omega, you learn all sorts of things you never imagined you would need to know when you were growing up. The essentials: Heat suppressants, scent masking, how to handle an Alpha that is scenting you, and of course, the laws that are in place to protect you, in a society that is accepting and progressive, yet still has elements of its attitudes stuck firmly in the past. You also learn that through no fault of your own, or conscious effort, it is possible for an Omega to adjust their body chemistry, to make themselves ready to do what some feel is their sole purpose in life: to breed.

Presenting as an Omega at the age of fourteen, Elliot has grown up cautious, distrustful of the world around him, yet determined to live a fulfilling life in spite of that. He is successful at work, has recently moved into a new apartment, and everything in his world appears to be falling into place. Which is, of course, exactly when his body decides to rebel, forcing ideas and urges into Elliot that he has spent his life trying to deny.

Enter reluctant Alpha, Oskar; as adamant as Elliot that he will not have his life disrupted by what he is, and just as horrified by his instincts as Elliot is finding himself about his own. Should they fight the inevitability that is their bond, that need they have for one another that will not get them a moment’s respite, or give in to just how easy, and effortless it feels between them?

Read here

Tainted By Our Choices

 

Tainted by our choices is a contemporary romance that has flashbacks, sex, environmental awareness, and a slight fixation on dessert. Potentially all at the same time.

Meet Jack. A successful environmental officer working within an industry that is so very far from his childhood dream of saving the planet, that he no longer recognizes himself. How he’s found himself in Houston, Texas, where he has no one, and nothing but his work for company, he tells himself repeatedly he doesn’t know. But when the place that became home had the heart sucked right out of it, and all around him were the remnants of a life he wouldn’t get to have, Jack ran, at the first opportunity given to him.

On a bright, sunny morning, Jack sees a face so familiar to him that he knows it better than his own, one that takes him back first to a beach in his childhood home of Tampa Bay, and second to a college in Boston where Jack learned – and lost – his heart.

Tainted by our choices is the story of first crushes, loves, and heartbreaks, and the fallout that left Jack clinging to his past. Join him on his rediscovery of himself, as a chance meeting reminds him of the life he always wanted to lead. Is he brave enough to live it?

No Special Occasion

Mark and Rob have an evening together with nothing to enjoy other than each other…

This is NOT safe for work, just to warn you. For those of you who follow/have followed me elsewhere, you might recognise this story in another guise 😉

This was no special occasion. Not an anniversary, or an oops, I’ve pissed you off, let me make it up to you. Or even an I’ve had a bad day, I need to feel you close to me. Just an intimate kind of evening with nothing to concentrate on but themselves.

Mark returned from his shower to find Rob asleep on their bed, one hand curled underneath the corner of Mark’s pillow and the other creeping forward across the sheets. Mark smiled; sleeping Rob wasn’t peaceful, or younger looking, or any of the things people normally said about their favourite people when they were resting. He was just resting, and Mark loved nothing more than seeing Rob taking any kind of rest, because it was such a rare thing for him to do. No one worked harder than Rob did, Mark was sure of it, or even biased about it, but either way he didn’t care. Rob was resting, and that was good enough for him.

Rob stood for a moment longer, then silently padded up to his side of the bed barefoot, slowly lifting off the oversized long sleeved shirt he was wearing and reaching to loop it over the back of a chair.

Gently lowering himself onto the bed, he did his best not to jostle Rob too much, keeping himself a little towards the edge as he swung his feet up and stretched his legs out. He turned, very slightly, picking up his book from the bedside table and wincing as the rustle of pages seemed too loud to his ears, in the silence of their room. Satisfied that Rob hadn’t stirred, he turned his attention back to the words before him, quickly familiarising himself with where he was in the story plot and losing himself in it.

A soft sigh a little while later announced Rob’s waking up, his fingers pausing as they stroked across the sheet and came into contact with Mark’s thigh. He raised his head, eyes drowsy and unfocused before coming to rest on Mark’s face.

“Hey,” he mumbled, yawning and giving the smallest of stretches, before rolling forward and pressing his nose against Mark’s hip, a hand slung over and resting just above his opposite knee.

Mark smiled down at him, slotting his bookmark between the pages and pushing the book back onto the cabinet before lightly running both his hands through the back of Rob’s hair. Rob arched against his fingers, humming in approval. “How long’ve I been out?” he asked with another yawn before nuzzling against him.

“Maybe an hour,”

“Come here,” Rob beckoned, slotting a finger through Mark’s belt loop and tugging, insinuating Mark lay beside him. Mark slid until his own head was on his pillow resting just over Rob’s hand, and turned briefly to press a kiss to the back of it.

Rob gave out a small hum of approval as his fingers brushed over Mark’s naked skin, stroking down his back and rolling closer towards him. Drawing his hand back from Mark’s pillow, Rob wrenched up his own shirt a little so that he could press his now-naked stomach against Mark’s, and sighed, content, wrapping his arm back around him.

Mark smiled a kiss against Rob’s forehead and slipped his fingers up the back of Rob’s shirt, resting them there.

“Better,” Rob mumbled against Mark’s lips, closing his eyes again, and they lay there without knowing the time, trading soft, occasional kisses as they breathed each other in.

Rob pressed a short series of tiny kisses against Mark’s lips then, and at the same time spread his hand wide to touch as much of Mark’s bare skin at once as he could. He slid his hand down Mark’s side slowly, then moved back just enough so that his thumb could drop down between them to run over Mark’s stomach.

Mark smiled against his mouth, lightly massaging his own fingers into Rob’s back. He opened up the kiss a little, though keeping it lazy, with Rob sliding his hand slowly up the length of Mark’s back again to come to rest between his shoulder blades, holding him close.

And as their slow kisses continued unhurried, Rob continued stroking over as much of Mark’s skin as he could get to, first dipping down low to the small of Mark’s back, then up over his shoulders, trailing his fingers along the edge of his ribs and rolling back a little so that he had room to brush the lightest of touches up and over a nipple, earning him a breathier yet still gentle kiss.

Rob kissed the corner of Mark’s mouth, the edge of his jaw, a patch on his neck, his collarbone, working his head lower until he could flick his tongue over Mark’s nipples and gently catch them in his teeth in turn. Mark hummed, trailing his own fingers in absent patterns over his back.

When Rob raised his head again, he claimed another kiss, this one the tiniest bit harder than before, though still unhurried. Mark stroked his fingers up under Rob’s shirt again, hooking his thumb on the outside to show Rob what he wanted. Together they pulled Rob’s shirt up and over his head, and Mark’s eyes lit up to see him, rolling forward to press Rob down on his back.

Mark kissed his way up from the dip of Rob’s shoulder, all the way up his neck and under his jaw, before reaching Rob’s mouth. Rob sighed against him, his hands around Mark’s hips and moving him so that Mark was straddling his lap and resting on his forearms either side of his head, settling directly over him.

Mark flicked his tongue against Rob’s lips, forcing a pleased gasp out of him in response, shuffling closer still until they were pressed together at every point. Mark smiled at that, moving his hand a fraction so he could trace his thumb along the stubble of Rob’s jaw.

Mark stared at Rob with a wide, blissful smile, his fingers drumming lightly along Rob’s cheek. He nosed Rob’s jaw to one side to mouth along his neck, and just under his chin where he knew would make Rob smile. He nuzzled his way back up through Rob’s stubble before kissing him again, open, and long.

“Are you still tired?” Mark asked, kisses now to Rob’s cheeks, his nose, his closed eyes.

Rob’s hands slid up Mark’s sides, tracing the outline of his shoulder blades. “Nope. Not tired at all. Didn’t even mean to fall asleep,”

“So you’ve no objection to me keeping kissing you?” Mark prompted, though not actually making any effort to pause at all.

Rob rolled his hips up the smallest of rolls and angled his mouth towards him in invitation. “Please do…”

“Good,” Mark breathed, before licking his way into Rob’s mouth, smiling as he sighed out lengthy and content. And then Mark really did kiss Rob, his lips barely leaving his skin for a second. He started at his mouth, working his way down the dip under his lip, his chin, all along the length of his neck down to his collarbone before he had to shift lower, which he did in a deliberate, slow slide so that they brushed against one another. He bit down on Rob’s left pec, swirling his tongue over the mark he left there before sucking on a nipple, and repeating the entire thing with his right.

Mark kissed his sternum, each rib, down to the slightly softer flesh of his belly, all while slowly unbuttoning and unzipping his jeans so that he could nose his way into them. He pressed the tip of his nose into Rob’s belly button and raised his head, knowing he’d see Rob laughing at that, before lightly hooking his fingers along the line of Rob’s boxers and slowly pulling both them and his jeans down.

Rob helped, raising his hips to free him of his clothes, sighing and pliant as Mark slowly pulled them down. Mark’s kisses continued with the slow exposing of skin; front of hip, top of thigh, dip at top of kneecap, a light lick to the back of the knee that made Rob jump for the tickle of it, a tiny bite against his calf, and a final kiss into his inner ankle until he could pull the jean legs completely free. Then Mark worked in reverse back up Rob’s other leg, moving to lay between them, eventually stopping to press a series of kisses into Rob’s stomach. He raised himself to rest his chin there, smiling up at Rob for a moment and receiving a wink and fingers slotted back through his hair.

Mark started kissing his way back down again, nuzzling into the hair around Rob’s base, kissing his way up Rob’s length so slowly that Rob started out barely stirring, but on his way to almost completely hard by the time Mark’s lips pressed against his tip.

Mark raised his head again to smile up at Rob, catching the slightly open-mouthed smile there, then licked firmly once over Rob’s head, keeping eye contact. Rob sucked in a breath in anticipation, his fingers still running through Mark’s hair, then coming to rest on his shoulders and drumming there once to get his attention.

Mark stopped, looking up in question.

“Come up here,”

Rob patted his own thighs, silently asking Mark to sit on him. Mark did, looping one leg over and then the other, running his hands up Rob’s chest as he sat up. Rob reached his hands up to grip Mark’s face, leaning up to kiss him, smiling against his lips.

Rob reached out and slowly undid Mark’s jeans, sliding his hands in the back at first to cup his ass. He ran his hands there a while, moulding them in time with the flicking of his tongue into Mark’s mouth, then brushed his fingertips around to the front of Mark’s jeans, lightly enough to make Mark shudder.

Rob slid a hand inside Mark’s boxers where he was already half-hard, and Mark groaned, arching up his neck, which Rob took full advantage of by biting lightly down on his pulse point there, laving his tongue over the marks he left behind.

Rob circled a thumb over Mark’s head and grinned at the small stutter he answered with, then dipped his hand back in, stroking him, teasingly slow from base to tip, with another circle over his head on every up stroke.

“Let’s get these off,” Rob whispered against Mark’s lips, fingers inside the waistband of Mark’s boxers and pulling. He pulled them down as far as he could, before Mark shifted backwards and knelt his way off the bed, pulling down his boxers and jeans in one go, then crawling back and leaning over Rob for a kiss.

Rob patted to his side, and Mark laid down there beside him, running a hand over his hip. Rob cupped his face to kiss him and pressed himself forward, before dipping his hand back down and lightly gripping them both in his palm.

Mark moaned, thrusting up into his hand, feeling Rob smile against his lips. And Rob stroked them both, going back to his slow and lengthy attention that he’d given just to Mark moments before. Their kisses remained slow, stuttering, missing and half-missing when a gasp of pleasure caught.

Mark gave a small hum against Rob’s lips, pressing another kiss against him before dipping his head a little with a smile.

“What?” Rob asked in a whisper, his rhythm not changing and still pressing his lips lightly against Mark’s when he could.

“Nothing,” Mark shrugged a little, lifting his eyes to Rob’s before they dropped again, “I like watching when you do this.”

“Oh yeah?” Rob asked, smiling, deliberately running a slow thumb over each of their heads and slicking them both back down, continuing his long, slow strokes.

“Mm,” is all Mark managed, all his concentration elsewhere.

“Anything you like seeing in particular?” Rob asked, feeling himself harden a little more under Mark’s gaze. Mark lifted his head to look at him then with a knowing smile.

“All of it,” Mark replied quietly, “I like it when we’re leaking and you slick it down over us, and when you grip just here,” he moved his hand to show Rob, just at the dip beneath his head, humming as he pressed his own thumb there, “and stroke your thumb up over here,” he added, running his own fingers over Rob’s slit and making him shudder, “I enjoy seeing – and feeling – it all,”

Rob continued his long, slow stroking with both of them focusing their gaze on his hand, the occasional jolt of their hips surging them forward and interrupting their kisses with increasingly filthier moans.

“You wanna just keep doing this?” Rob whispered against his lips, which made Mark smile, then shake his head, looking down and thrusting into Rob’s hand a couple of times more and groaning, then pulling Rob’s hand away from them and resting it on his hip. They laid side by side, rolling forward so their cocks were still gliding over each other, letting out moans of encouragement, between stuttered kisses.

“No,” Mark finally replied, chasing Rob’s tongue around his mouth a little, “I need you,”

“Oh yeah?” Rob repeated, a little thickly as he thrust against him a little harder, “I’m all yours,” which pleased Mark no end, and Rob was rewarded with a deeper kiss as well as a quick, light stroke along his length before Mark pressed on Rob’s hip and rolled him on to his back, moving with him to kneel between his legs.

Mark positioned Rob just how he wanted him; feet flat on the bed and knees up either side of him, splayed open. Mark shifted down, kissing his knee, and all along his inner thigh, all while pushing Rob’s knees further apart. He bent further, taking just Rob’s head into his mouth and sucking hard and moaning as his mouth filled with precum, then lapped along his slit, humming then as Rob jolted beneath him. He opened his mouth around him and took him in, hollowing his cheeks a couple of times in a hard suck then pulled off him and bent for a final lick over his head, then knelt up, bracing himself on Rob’s parted knees.

Mark tapped Rob’s thigh and Rob watched as Mark slid off the bed, hands resting on Rob’s hips. Rob moved with him willingly, until he was closer to the edge of the bed, and Mark was on his knees on the floor.

Mark leaned over, running his hands up the back of Rob’s thighs so that he raised his legs for him. “Hold yourself open,” he said, and Rob slid his hands behind his knees, pulling them wide.

Mark pressed his hands either side of Rob’s hole, and pushed them slowly apart to expose him. He dipped his head, licking his way in, smiling at the way Rob’s thighs clenched and a gasp escaped his lips.

Mark swirled his tongue into him, circling for a beat, pressing in, circling again, pressing further, until he could dart it in and out freely, lapping at him. Rob writhed and rocked against him, giving all sorts of sounds of encouragement, so obviously enjoying everything that Mark was doing to him.

Mark pulled back a little, flicking his tongue out just to brush the tip against Rob, who gave a startled sigh at the loss and pushed himself forward. Mark pushed him back, repeating his teasing little flicks unevenly over and over so Rob never knew when they were coming, until Rob was whimpering and grinding himself forward. Mark rewarded him with one long, deep lick before placing a kiss over his hole and moving away entirely.

Mark didn’t move far though, pressing a kiss into the crease of Rob’s leg, and slowly stroking his thumb over Rob’s leaking head. He used the precum there to slick his fingers up, and pressed two in to Rob at once, steady and slow. Rob gasped, writhing as Mark pressed and scissored his fingers inside him until he hit Rob’s prostate, making him judder forward.

Mark pressed his face against Rob’s inner thigh just below his knee, watching his fingers sliding in and out of Rob as he added a third. He kept up a steady stream of kisses where his head rested, closing his eyes with a smile at the noises Rob continued making above him.

“Need you, Mark,” Rob choked out eventually, no longer unable to control the way he rocked down on Mark’s fingers.

“Mm,” Mark agreed, placing a final kiss to Rob’s thigh and moving to stand. He waited as Rob pressed his hands into the bed and levered himself back up it until his head was back on the pillow. His legs stayed wide, and Mark crawled between them, hands running up Rob’s chest and cradling his face for a moment in a kiss. He leaned over and snatched up a bottle of lube from the side of the bed, slicking up his fingers to slide into him, then coating his own cock, his head falling back with a groan.

Mark settled back between Rob’s legs, his hands pressing him open again and lining himself up. He felt Rob shift and looked up; Rob’s eyes were fixed on Mark’s cock as its tip pressed firm against his hole.

“I like watching you sliding in to me,” he said, raising his eyes to Mark’s for only a moment before dropping them again. Mark smiled, dropping his own gaze to watch as his cock head disappeared inside Rob, pausing to flick his eyes up to see Rob’s face before pressing all the way in, in one slow, drawn out thrust.

They both let out a soft grunt when Mark was all the way inside him. He paused again, just for a second, before sliding almost all the way back out, their eyes ever watchful as he continued rocking in and out of him, breathing soft, choking out gasps as he did.

Mark shifted, this time stroking his hands up the back of Rob’s thighs so that they were high and angled up against Rob’s chest. Mark leaned over him, rocking into him with only the minimum of movement as he kissed him.

They kept their pace slow, gently rocking together with Rob’s hands flat against the bed, and Mark’s lips never far from Rob’s. They only paused to give each other silly grins, eyes shining, smiling in delight when one of them gave out a particularly appreciative moan.

Mark shifted a little, pulling Rob’s hips up and angling himself in a way that hit Rob’s prostate repeatedly and made his head writhe back against his pillow. Mark kept hold of one of Rob’s legs, while his other dropped so that he could take Rob in his hand and stroke him in time with his thrusts.

Rob held himself open again, gripping the back of his knee and holding it wide like Mark did with his other. His eyes continued flitting between Mark’s hand around his cock, and where his hips rolled, with Mark disappearing into him.

“Rob,” Mark breathed out, and Rob knew from the tone that Mark was straining hard to keep his movements slow and steady. In answer, Rob shifted Mark’s hand and held himself wide open for him with both hands, Mark falling forward a little as he stumbled to support his weight on the bed.

Mark began pounding into him, still stroking Rob in time with his hips but now accompanied with a series of gasps, and slaps of skin on skin as he thrust harder, and as deep as he could go.

Rob rolled his hips up in time to meet him where he could, as Mark’s thrusts became more frantic into him, his hips stuttering as he chased the angle in Rob that made his eyes roll.

Harder, and harder, the air filled with nothing but their grunts and moans that sounded more and more desperate the close they got. With a last gasp out of Mark’s name, Rob came, shooting several thick, hot stripes to splatter over his own stomach. Mark smiled down at that for a second, but was unable to stop, thrusting relentlessly and uncontrollably before grinding against Rob with a long, guttural groan, coming hard.

Mark fell forward, landing square on Rob’s chest with a soft oof, and Rob’s chest rising and falling heavily under his weight. His hands dropped to Rob’s waist, and Rob’s hands lifted to stroke circles into Mark’s lower back.

As Mark softened, he slipped out of Rob, and Mark moved his hands up back to either side of Rob’s shoulders, pressing kisses into his neck, jaw, and back up to his face. They rested their foreheads together as their breathing evened, eyes on each other the entire time.

When they’d calmed enough to move, Mark slid from the bed, with Rob whimpering a complaint at the loss. Mark bent to pick up his boxers and smiled at Rob, wiping come from them both before discarding the boxers back on the floor and climbing up beside him again.

Rob turned instantly to him, one arm around his waist and pulling him close. His mouth claimed Mark’s again, and Mark went willingly, curling a hand possessively around Rob’s hip with a deep, sated sigh.

They fell asleep with their lips idly pressing against each others’, curved into satisfied smiles.

As Nature Intended

As Nature Intended Edit 2

When you first learn that you are an Omega, you learn all sorts of things you never imagined you would need to know when you were growing up. The essentials: Heat suppressants, scent masking, how to handle an Alpha that is scenting you, and of course, the laws that are in place to protect you, in a society that is accepting and progressive, yet still has elements of its attitudes stuck firmly in the past. You also learn that through no fault of your own, or conscious effort, it is possible for an Omega to adjust their body chemistry, to make themselves ready to do what some feel is their sole purpose in life: to breed.

Presenting as an Omega at the age of fourteen, Elliot has grown up cautious, distrustful of the world around him, yet determined to live a fulfilling life in spite of that. He is successful at work, has recently moved into a new apartment, and everything in his world appears to be falling into place. Which is, of course, exactly when his body decides to rebel, forcing ideas and urges into Elliot that he has spent his life trying to deny.

Enter reluctant Alpha, Oskar; as adamant as Elliot that he will not have his life disrupted by what he is, and just as horrified by his instincts as Elliot is finding himself about his own. Should they fight the inevitability that is their bond, that need they have for one another that will not get them a moment’s respite, or give in to just how easy, and effortless it feels between them?

Read here

Tainted By Our Choices

Tainted By Our Choices Edit 2

Tainted by our choices is a contemporary romance that has flashbacks, sex, environmental awareness, and a slight fixation on dessert. Potentially all at the same time.

Meet Jack. A successful environmental officer working within an industry that is so very far from his childhood dream of saving the planet, that he no longer recognizes himself. How he’s found himself in Houston, Texas, where he has no one, and nothing but his work for company, he tells himself repeatedly he doesn’t know. But when the place that became home had the heart sucked right out of it, and all around him were the remnants of a life he wouldn’t get to have, Jack ran, at the first opportunity given to him.

On a bright, sunny morning, Jack sees a face so familiar to him that he knows it better than his own, one that takes him back first to a beach in his childhood home of Tampa Bay, and second to a college in Boston where Jack learned – and lost – his heart.

Tainted by our choices is the story of first crushes, loves, and heartbreaks, and the fallout that left Jack clinging to his past. Join him on his rediscovery of himself, as a chance meeting reminds him of the life he always wanted to lead. Is he brave enough to live it?

As Nature Intended

As Nature Intended Edit 2

When you first learn that you are an Omega, you learn all sorts of things you never imagined you would need to know when you were growing up. The essentials: Heat suppressants, scent masking, how to handle an Alpha that is scenting you, and of course, the laws that are in place to protect you, in a society that is accepting and progressive, yet still has elements of its attitudes stuck firmly in the past. You also learn that through no fault of your own, or conscious effort, it is possible for an Omega to adjust their body chemistry, to make themselves ready to do what some feel is their sole purpose in life: to breed.

Presenting as an Omega at the age of fourteen, Elliot has grown up cautious, distrustful of the world around him, yet determined to live a fulfilling life in spite of that. He is successful at work, has recently moved into a new apartment, and everything in his world appears to be falling into place. Which is, of course, exactly when his body decides to rebel, forcing ideas and urges into Elliot that he has spent his life trying to deny.

Enter reluctant Alpha, Oskar; as adamant as Elliot that he will not have his life disrupted by what he is, and just as horrified by his instincts as Elliot is finding himself about his own. Should they fight the inevitability that is their bond, that need they have for one another that will not get them a moment’s respite, or give in to just how easy, and effortless it feels between them?

Read here

Tainted By Our Choices – Extract

 

Tainted By Our Choices Edit 2

Jack stretched up just enough to peek down through the tinted glass of his office window at the protesters gathered outside holding hand painted placards and could only bring himself to sigh. They had moved in that morning, encroaching on all the best parking spaces in the parking lot and chanting angry slogans that Jack thought perhaps were kind of funny but would do nothing to stop what was going to happen.

The fracking would be going ahead, whether anyone objected to it or not. Works had all been approved, reams upon reams of paperwork signed and countersigned, and if some bureaucracy involving clandestine deals and exchanges of money between those further up the chain and the local authorities had happened, well. It was absolutely nothing to do with him. Jack had done his job. He had produced the environmental report that had helped win them the contract, carefully detailing all of the possible risks and hazards involved, right down to potentially affected species in the local vicinity, and models indicating the likelihood of contaminated water coming into contact with nearby residential supplies.

With another sigh, Jack looked over his mostly-completed work for the morning and pushed himself back from his desk, spinning one full circuit on his chair before coming to a stop, then doing the same the other way. He stood with an exaggerated stretch, wandering over to rattle the cafetiere and frowning at its betrayal when he found it to be empty.

With every intention of topping up from the coffee machine in the break room, Jack made his way there, the voices drifting out to him immediately changing his mind. He took a brief stop in the restroom and gave himself a quick glance over in the mirror as he washed his hands, tugging at his hair and telling himself that lighter color was definitely blond, not gray, in his usual brown.

Biting down on his lip as he debated with himself with himself, Jack decided on a local bakery with excellent coffee and even better cakes, then shrugged into his suit jacket and headed out. If he was staying late as usual to go over those complex habitat surveys for their most recent site acquisition, and had to survive the dreaded afternoon meeting, caffeine and sugar would be essentials to get him through his day.

With a carefree jog, he took the stairs down, noting with no real surprise that the chants outside grew louder and even angrier the closer he got to the exit. Giving a brief nod to the receptionist Jack stepped out into the bright, sunny morning, shielding his squinting eyes behind sunglasses from both the sun itself and the attention of those protesting. His face became a neutral mask as he passed the group buzzing like irate bees over to his right, hoping they wouldn’t pay him any attention. This wasn’t his first experience with opposition against what the company did and he’d learned early on to feign indifference, despite what he might really think.

A mop of messy black hair caught his attention, though, as it always did, whispering to him to take a look just in case. Jack’s gaze turned casually in the group’s direction as he continued walking, coming to a complete, shuddering stop and ripping his glasses off in disbelief as he watched pale blue eyes look him up and down in contempt, then spark with recognition before narrowing in quiet fury. His stomach sank and his mouth grew dry, and the only sound Jack could hear in that moment was the misplaced shriek of the crashing of waves.

1993

On a clear day, when the sky was the brightest blue and the reflection the sea gave back just as vivid, it made Jack feel like he could stare out at the horizon forever and never know where one started and the other began. The waves roared away any sense of unrest he might be feeling, waxing and waning with soothing sounds that never ceased to keep him calm.

Jack had been visiting this beach since before he could even walk, crawling along the sand and fisting it up into his chubby palms, squealing at the crunch and squeak of it between his fingers. He remembered helping his little brother build his first sand castle and watching the water lick it away one misshapen turret at a time. He remembered a red checkered picnic blanket pinned down beneath a cooler box to stop it blowing away, and laughter as he chased a corner of it that got repeatedly caught up in the breeze. Happy memories were what Jack had when he thought of this place. Happiness and home.

Today was not a clear day. The normally creamy colored sand was painted with jet black slickness, foam churning up gray against the shoreline. As if in sympathy the sky was dull and flat, clouds outlined with dirty smudges that bled into one another. It seemed to Jack in that moment as though all the color had been drained from the world. The waves rolled in as they always did, as they always had, but on that day, could do nothing to bring stillness to Jack, as each crest spewed out further victims of the oil slick everywhere he looked.

Though surrounding him was a flurry of activity, with rescue workers rushing about clad from head to foot in once white hazmat-like suits and carrying bird after bird away to cleaning stations further up the shore, the only noise that got through to him, that broke Jack’s continual horror at what he was seeing all around him was one of heartbroken, hiccupping sobbing.

A boy knelt off to his right, gently stroking his fingers over a bird whose head, he had rested across his lap at an unnatural angle. The oil from the bird’s feathers left glossy rivulets of black running down the sides of his thighs, and he continued his gentle path along its back as though touch alone could bring it back to life. A trembling hand ran over the flat of the bill, tracing against the curved tip that suggested a hint of its natural red color beneath the poisonous black that every other inch of the bird was coated in like a terrible second skin.

Jack looked at the boy’s mass of messy hair and decided it was the exact same shade as the oil staining his fingers. He stepped closer to him, his own heart heavy despite what he’d been witnessing all morning. His footfall caught the boy’s attention, and when he looked up at Jack with a quivering lip and piercing blue eyes rimmed red with tears, Jack felt an inexplicable need to bring him comfort.

Now

“Dylan,” Jack choked out, utter disbelief rippling through his voice as he continued to stare at him open-mouthed. Dylan glowered back at him, dropping the oversized placard he was holding down to waist height and resting his hands along the top of it in a fierce grip. He glanced up behind Jack at the office complex snorting in derision before dropping his eyes back down to Jack’s face in blatant scorn.

“You work here?” he asked, incredulous, a furious glare pinning Jack in place.

“Yeah,” Jack mumbled, and for a second he felt determined not to show any of the shame that surged through him just from being in Dylan’s presence. He managed a full three seconds of maintaining eye contact then found his gaze dropped to the tarmac beneath their feet.

“How the hell did you end up in Houston? Working here of all places?” Dylan demanded, so full of anger Jack struggled not to take a step back from it.

“I-”

“So, this is what you’ve become, huh?”

“Dyl…” Jack pleaded, lost for any other words to say. What was he supposed to say? What could he, after all this time, without it sounding like a string of poor excuses?

As though reading his mind Dylan rolled his eyes, glaring back at him with ice lighting those eyes that Jack had first stared back at so long ago. “Thought you wanted to change the world, Jack? Not rip it apart from the inside out,”

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As Nature Intended

 

When you first learn that you are an Omega, you learn all sorts of things you never imagined you would need to know when you were growing up. The essentials: Heat suppressants, scent masking, how to handle an Alpha that is scenting you, and of course, the laws that are in place to protect you, in a society that is accepting and progressive, yet still has elements of its attitudes stuck firmly in the past. You also learn that through no fault of your own, or conscious effort, it is possible for an Omega to adjust their body chemistry, to make themselves ready to do what some feel is their sole purpose in life: to breed.

Presenting as an Omega at the age of fourteen, Elliot has grown up cautious, distrustful of the world around him, yet determined to live a fulfilling life in spite of that. He is successful at work, has recently moved into a new apartment, and everything in his world appears to be falling into place. Which is, of course, exactly when his body decides to rebel, forcing ideas and urges into Elliot that he has spent his life trying to deny.

Enter reluctant Alpha, Oskar; as adamant as Elliot that he will not have his life disrupted by what he is, and just as horrified by his instincts as Elliot is finding himself about his own. Should they fight the inevitability that is their bond, that need they have for one another that will not get them a moment’s respite, or give in to just how easy, and effortless it feels between them?

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